In this article:
- Introduction to counselling
- Issues we can help you with
- How we can support you
- Additional & focused support
- Registering for the service
Introducing Counselling & Mental Health Support at King's
Introducing the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service:
Meet the team at Counselling & Mental Health Support Service:
You can also find these videos at the KCL Media Centre.
What is Mental Health Advice?
Mental Health Advice is different to counselling.
Mental Health Advisors offer information, advice, and guidance to students with mental health difficulties. They give short-term therapeutic support to students with mild and moderate mental health difficulties who are registered with the Counselling and Mental Health Support Service.
You can talk to the university’s Mental Health Advisors for practical support, information, advice and guidance about concerns or difficulties related to your mental health and self care. You might not always know what help or support you need, nor what is most appropriate for your needs. Speaking with a Mental Health Advisor can help you work out what you need.
Meetings with an Advisor provide a friendly and informal space in which to discuss your concerns. Advisors will help you access the support you need.
How can mental health advisors help?
- They can hold an assessment or triage appointments depending on your level of need.
- They offer therapeutic interventions of up to 5 individual sessions or psychoeducational workshops (CBT informed).
- They can liaison with internal and external services, including GPs as needed.
MHAs also offer support to students referred through our Student of Concern process, where the main concerns are related to mental ill-health, but who are not registered with CMHS.
Important to know: Mental Health Advisors do not offer:
- Counselling or psychotherapy.
- Urgent or crisis support. If your situation is urgent or you require immediate medical assistance we advise you to contact your GP or seek help via Crisis support.
- Therapeutic interventions to students who present with moderate to severe or enduring mental health difficulties and/or high risk to self.
- Long-term therapeutic interventions.
- Support letters for Mitigating Circumstances unless students are receiving ongoing support from the service.
What are the common issues brought to King's Counsellors and what support is available?
Reading this information and visiting the recommended websites might be enough to help you, or you might want to register with our service to talk about how we can further support you.
If you would like to talk to someone in confidence after reading any of the challenges described in the article, then please don't hesitate to contact us and learn about registering for counselling.
What if I have a long-term mental health condition?
We define a condition as long-term if it is lasting/has lasted a year or more. Students with long term health conditions that impact their studies might benefit from a King’s Inclusion Plan (KIP). The KIP is a document you create in conjunction with a King’s Disability Adviser.
KIPs are designed to inform teaching staff that a student has a health condition and how it might affect study. The Disability Adviser will recommend reasonable adjustments to be included in the KIP. Once you are happy with the KIP it is sent to your academic team to implement the adjustments recommended to ensure you have a fair opportunity to participate in the course.
You don't have to consider yourself to be disabled to apply for a KIP. Email the Disability Support Service for more information, or to request an appointment to discuss a KIP and other support available.
You can also find out more in our article Support for students with long-term mental health conditions.
How many sessions and what type of counselling support is offered?
We typically offer up to 6 sessions with a counsellor or Mental Health Advisor.
The Counselling and Mental Health Support Service offers different types of support depending on need, including:
- Psychodynamic counselling
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Mental Health Advice
- Psychiatric support
- Psychoeducational workshops
- Individual or group support
What groups & workshops do the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service run?
The service runs a number of groups for students and some for staff. These take place throughout the academic year and cover a variety of themes and topics; some are long term therapy groups, and others are short-term focused groups and workshops.
This is a 4-week group intended to help new first year undergraduate students, or postgraduate students who are new to King’s and the London area, who are struggling to cope with the transition to university life.
The group is intended to help students share their experiences of starting at King’s and to help to address feelings of isolation and loneliness.
EXHALE: LGBTQ+ Mental Health Support Group
Exhale is run by students in partnership with Counselling & Mental Health Support Service to provide a safe space within the King's community where we can talk about any troubles we face.
In addition, we also have the group LGBTQ+: Let’s Talk.
Support for Black, African & Asian students, Students of Colour, Chinese students, & International students
The service is committed to providing equality to all our students, providing equity of access and mental health provision to Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority students.
Therapeutic Support Group: Conversations about Race
This 4-week group will be an opportunity for students to have therapeutic conversations about race and the impact of racial experiences on individual wellbeing.
The aim is to create an online, safe, non-judgemental and confidential space. We hope to encourage a setting whereby students can feel able to share openly what can often be uncomfortable experiences related to identity, race and culture. It will also be a space to learn coping mechanisms to manage symptoms of stress, low mood and anxiety relating to their experiences.
The group is open to students who are from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds. It will be run by two mental health practitioners from the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service.
Please email the service to express your interest and be willing to share and allow space to learn from others’ experience. Before joining the group, we’ll invite you to speak to one of the practitioners.
Supporting Chinese students
There are Q&A Workshops and short-term support groups; these run with the support of Advice Services and the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service.
These groups are led by both Mandarin and Cantonese speaking therapists and mental health advisors.
Health Advisors for Mandarin-Speaking Students
International Students Support Group
This is a support group for international students. It provides a confidential supportive space for students to share and compare their experiences, to reflect and learn from each other, and to think about how to continue managing themselves as these strange times continue and develop.
The group will meet weekly for 6 weeks and is facilitated by a member of Counselling & Mental Health Support Service.
Long-term groups run between from Oct and July and are led by experienced Group Analysts.
- Younger Student Groups (18-25)
- Older Student Groups (25+)
- Postgraduate Group
- Bereavement Group
- Exploring Relationships/Sexuality
Short-term groups are run on a termly basis:
- Postgraduate Anxiety
The workshops are short-term and structured, and run on a termly basis. They are psycho-educational, and some are led from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) perspective.
- Workshops are open to between 6 and 20 participants at a time.
- They range from a single session to a workshop series; attending all sessions in a series is advisable as they relate to one another.
- Workshops can be interactive, so please be prepared to participate (asking questions, doing the exercises, making sense of how the information might apply to you).
- However, they are not therapeutic groups, and you will not be expected to share anything too personal with others in the workshops.
- Exam Anxiety
- Food, Mood and Body Image
- LGBT - Gender and sexual diversity
- Managing emotions
- Stress Management
- Men & Mental Health
If you’re interested in joining any of these groups or workshops, please register with the service.
If you have questions and would like to find out more about any of the groups, please email the service directly.
King's Counselling Online (KCO)
King’s Counselling Online provides free and confidential, brief, solution-focused support for people who are experiencing low to moderate mental health and emotional wellbeing difficulties. This is aimed at helping you quickly access counselling support and experience improved wellbeing.
The service is available 24/7: During the day from 09:00 - 17:00, but also in the evenings and at the weekends, as well as during King’s College closure days. This may suit you if finding time during weekday hours is difficult.
For more details, please refer to What is King’s Counselling Online (KCO)?
What mental health support can I access at King’s if I am a healthcare student?
It is normal to be experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety during challenging times. This may well have negatively impacted your mental health and you may need extra support to look after your wellbeing.
King’s healthcare students may have been especially impacted during the pandemic. Some of you who may be studying dentistry, medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and midwifery may have been called to support the frontline.
We want you to know that the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service is here to support you during these challenging times.
The service has developed a bespoke Counselling and Mental Health Support Care Package for you, so please register with the service to access:
- Up to 6 sessions of free and confidential online mental health support
- Additional online resources to support you with looking after your wellbeing, managing worry, anxiety, insomnia, procrastination and Psychological Wellbeing for Healthcare Workers
- Support signposting to King’s Student Services or to specialist NHS services
- Referral to specialist psychiatric support
- Referral to other online platforms such as Togetherall
- Signposting to specific online support
We offer King's Counselling Online (KCO) for a fully online service to support you 24/7, if you are experiencing low to moderate mental health and emotional wellbeing difficulties. This is aimed at helping you quickly access counselling support and experience improved wellbeing.
To find out more, please check out What is King’s Counselling Online (KCO)?
There are also other services you can access online on any day, at any time, if you need some wellbeing support or if you're experiencing a crisis. To find out more about these services, please check out Mental health support during evenings, weekends & vacation periods.